It’s 2016, and those archaic societal gender stereotypes and rules about what men or women should or shouldn’t do are almost completely dead and buried. More and more people are being their authentic selves, living their lives and doing whatever the hell makes them happy, and we're totally on board.
If you need some inspiration, check out these 7 badasses who are proving how awesome, and brave, it is to just be yourself:
At the end of the day, your sexuality is no one’s business but your own, and Lily-Rose really emphasized that to the world last year. As the daughter of Hollywood heavyweight Johnny Depp and genetically blessed Vanessa Paradis, Lily-Rose’s first statement about her open sexuality had her posing for a photography project spanning the LGBTQIA spectrum.
Her participation drew a lot of attention, and in turn a lot of news outlets drew their own conclusions and labelled her as gay. Speaking out on this, Lily explained that she doesn’t feel the need to label herself, and that no one else should either. She continues her work in both modelling and acting, and blesses over a million Instagram followers with her fabulous presence.
As the son of superstars Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, Jaden has had media attention surrounding him since birth, but he and his sister Willow have always been encouraged by their parents to be their authentic selves.
In his brief 17 years he’s already ventured into acting, music and fashion design, all the while being known for his creative and outspoken demeanor and unique sense of style. He simply exudes confidence and self-awareness in everything that he does – if he wants to wear a Batman costume to the KimYe wedding, he will, and he kills it.
His fashion choices have consistently been the subject of media attention, and his recent debuts modeling women’s wear for Louis Vuitton and posing in skirts for Vogue Korea have made headlines across the globe. We can’t wait to see the ways in which he continues to push fashion and creative boundaries moving forward.
What do you picture when you think of a YouTube beauty and DIY guru? Well, Ingrid is all of those things and more. She’s done so much in her 27 years on this planet, including interviewing President Obama and collecting almost 4 million YouTube followers since 2009.
She’s a beacon of light and knowledge on fashion, beauty, makeup, food and life in general – and she’s also a lesbian. After coming out last year with an emotional and inspirational video, Ingrid has continued to create, inspire and boost the confidence of millions of young people on a daily basis.
Add in her newly announced affiliation with the United Nations as a Change Ambassador fighting for gender equality, her #squadgoals-inspiring collabs with other LGBTQIA influencers and the fact that she uses her influence and platform to help others accept their sexuality, and that’s precisely why she rocks our world.
We’ve been waiting for another young, outspoken, beautiful and badass female athlete to emerge since we were blessed with Serena Williams, and Ronda is definitely that girl.
During her 5 year MMA career with UFC, Ronda has been a dominating force, known for winning matches in mere seconds. She’s also been very outspoken about body positivity, mental health and misogyny – in MMA and in general – and is a strong example that women can be ‘feminine’ and athletic at the same time.
Ever body confident, in early 2016 she landed the coveted Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover and rocked the hell out of it, wearing nothing but body paint. As if that wasn’t enough of an indicator that she loves every inch of her rockin’ bod, she’s been known to dish out a verbal and virtual spanking to anyone who photoshops her to make her look thinner or less muscular.
She has been called the best female athlete of all time, and is reportedly the highest paid UFC fighter, male or female. In an extremely male dominated sport, she’s completely crushing the competition and has become the biggest star in all of UFC. Keep kicking ass and rocking those miniskirts, girl.
It’s no exaggeration to say that Tyler is one of the biggest YouTube stars out there, and he’s just so darn likeable that his success doesn’t really surprise anyone. Having almost 8 million YouTube followers presents a great platform for any advocate, and as an openly gay man, Tyler uses his platform to bring both joy and awareness to millions of people every week.
His content is hilarious, he’s super charming, and like any prolific YouTuber these days, is also an accomplished author. Most impressively of all, his work supporting LGBT youth and the Trevor Project has helped raise over a million dollars to date, and he continues to give strength to and inspire LGBTQIA youth everywhere.
American football has historically been a very male-dominated sport, both on the field and on the sidelines. The National Football League in particular is the highest level of professional football there is, and despite having been around for nearly 100 years, up until this year, cheerleaders have been just about the only female presence on-field.
Kathryn Smith changed the game in 2016 when she became the first female coach in NFL history. Having worked her way up in the league for over a decade now, Kathryn is paving the way for all of the females who love the sport just as much as men do. Next stop, head coach Smith?
2015 will forever be known as The Year of Ruby Rose.
Despite her previous career accolades and fame in Australia as a model, product spokesperson, TV host/ personality, actress and musician, her role on Orange is the New Black catapulted her to international stardom. Since then, she’s been the poster child for androgyny and gender fluidity in Hollywood, and the object of the world’s affection.
She identifies as a lesbian and gender neutral, and has been known to channel both sexes in various projects. She’s consistently been very open about her gender identity, and her short film entitled Break Free in which she visually transforms from female to male has received tons of media attention and over 16 million views to date.